Atlas Obscura has a glowing endorsement from Neil Gaiman on its front cover, which can only mean this Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders is my Door to London Below. Or maybe Red, White, and Black Londons. Or, fine, maybe just somewhere really cool no one knows about (or knew about until they all read Atlas Obscura) in plain old Gray London.
If Atlas Obscura does its job as intended, readers of this quirky non-tourist attraction guidebook are going to walk away (hopefully to the nearest plane) with a much longer Bucket List than they started out with. Possibly over 700 line items longer, if you dig every one of Atlas Obscura's picks for the "strangest and most curious places in the world." Some selections:
- New Zealand's glowworm caves.
- A baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a 15-seat pub inside.
- Spain's Baby Jumping Festival.
- Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell.
- A weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches on display in Devon, England.
Atlas Obscura, which started as (and still is) an online catalogue of the world's strange and unusual marvels, made it to gift-ready book form thanks to result of the long hours and adventurous travels of Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton.